2012 Chefs to Watch – Manny Augello


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CHEF MANNY AUGELLO Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro, Lafayette
Chef Manny Augello, Bread & Circus Provisions

“To not work as a cook in my family is to be the black sheep,” says Chef Manny Augello.

At 7 years old, he began his career stuffing rotisserie chickens at his father’s restaurant in Palermo, Sicily. He was soon promoted to dishwasher, and his love affair with food has only deepened.

“I learned all the classic techniques from my father—an award-winning chef of 40 years—and was inspired by British chefs like Fergus Henderson and Marco Pierre White,” he says.

Manny came to the United States in 1995 and spent time on the Northshore and in Natchitoches before heading south to Lafayette. He’s found many similarities between the Sicilian culture he grew up with and that of his new home.

“Traditional societies like the Cajuns and Sicilians cook the same way, right down to the slaughtering of the hogs and following the seasons. That is really big in my style of cooking,” he says.

In May, Manny was invited to the James Beard House in New York City, where he presented a menu that included Fried Green Tomatoes with Tasso Tartar Sauce and Louisiana Blue Crab, Hog’s Head Cheese with Roasted Corn Grits, and Crispy Quail with Roasted Figs. These dishes are typically on the menu at Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro, along with selections such as House-cured Duck Prosciutto, Pan-fried Soft Shell Crab, and Blackened Tuna with local Corn Romesco.

Finding new local producers and coming up with intriguing presentations is his passion. “Lately, I love rabbit livers. We take rabbit livers and fry them up and do a little sriracha and wild honey sauce. Rabbit livers are like a pâté without having to put in all that work. They’re creamy and don’t have that iron taste.”

Outside the kitchen, Manny finds it nearly impossible to switch off that part of his brain.

“Every second I’m away from the kitchen, I want to be back in the kitchen. When I have spare time, I am researching and studying menus, coming up with ideas.”

When he travels, instead of making a list of museums or historic sites, he notes the must-try restaurants, food trucks, and out-of-the-way cafés. Eating his way through cities and countrysides broadens his horizons and gives him a greater respect for and understanding of the local culture.


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Fried Hogs Head Cheese with Black-eyed Pea and Sweet Potato Vinegar Caviar
Fried Hogs Head Cheese with Black-eyed Pea and Sweet Potato Vinegar Caviar

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Bacon and Waffle
Bacon and Waffle


 Click to meet the 2012 Chefs to Watch

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Zac Watters
Chef Zac Watters
Zachary’s, Mandeville
CHEF MANNY AUGELLO Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro, Lafayette
Chef Manny Augello
Bread & Circus Provisions, Lafayette

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Chef Lindsay Mason Executive Chef, Cristiano Ristorante, Houma
Chef Lindsay Mason
Cristiano Ristorante, Houma
BRAD MCGEHEE Executive Chef, Ye Olde College Inn, New Orleans
Brad McGehee
Ye Olde College Inn, New Orleans

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Chef Ryan Andre
Chef Ryan André
City Pork, Baton Rouge
2012 Chefs to Watch
Meet the 2012 Chefs to Watch


photography by Sara Essex Bradley[/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]